Bringing Our Honest Questions to God While Suffering

Challenge Central: a CBC devotional

By: Rebecca Feere

The title of this devotional most likely prompted a response in your mind. Perhaps you said – “Ugh, suffering, that is the last thing I want to read about it. Isn’t this world depressing enough?!” Or maybe you said – “Ooh, that is me, and I am not sure how to biblically handle this season of life. Every day something seems to be being added to my load of cares and concerns.”

Either way, I pray you will stick with me here for a few minutes. While we all long for peace and pleasant circumstances, as believers, we know God’s Word tells us that won’t be attained until Jesus returns or He chooses to take us home (John 16:33). But, if you are like me, perhaps you have found yourself asking, “How much more can I handle?”  “God, don’t You care?”  “When are You going to send relief?” 

A few months ago, I found myself studying the book of Habakkuk (It is one of those little “minor prophet” books of the Old Testament where the pages stick in most of our Bibles.) And I am still there – reading, studying, mulling over, and meditating on those three chapters. Habakkuk came to God with questions (chapter 1). Both his questions and responses give us an example of how we, as believers, can come to God with our honest questions about suffering, trials, etc.

Habakkuk demonstrates that it is okay to bring our hard questions to God. But something essential in that process is remembering to embed our questions for God with truth.  Habakkuk does so in his prayer in chapter 1, verses 12 -17. Here are a few things God’s Spirit pointed out to me in those few verses. 

No matter how hard (or utterly impossible) our circumstances seem, God is: 

  • Eternal (v.12) He is without beginning or end (Rev. 22:13).
  • Personal (v. 12a) He is our God, our Holy One.
  • Self-Existent (v.12) He is Yahweh (Jehovah, LORD) – the God who is, who was and always will be (Ps. 90:1-2). He needs nothing outside of Himself (Acts 17:24-25).
  • Sovereign (v. 12b) He ordains and controls all things (Job 42:2; Lam 3:37-39).
  • Mighty (v.12) He is our Rock, our Protector (Deut. 32:15; 2 Sam. 22:4; Ps. 95:1).
  • Faithful (v.12) He is the Covenant-keeping God. His faithfulness is not dependent on our faith (Rom. 3:3). Being faithful is not just something God does; Faithful is who He is (2 Tim. 2:13).
  • Holy (v.13) God is pure, without sin, righteous in all He does (1 Sam. 2:2).
  • Inscrutable (v.14-17) His ways are higher than ours. He knows all things – past, present, and future. While we only see this moment, He sees how all things work together for our good and His glory (Rom. 8:28). He is unlimited in knowledge and past our understanding.

The challenge for all of us is to keep our focus on the character of God (Col. 3:1-2); to keep our minds saturated with what is true about God no matter the circumstances of our lives. This comes by spending time in His Word daily; it comes with intentionality. We must plan for quiet time alone with God in His Word. There is no shortcut. Time in God’s Word may not be “convenient” in our modern world’s eyes, but it is ESSENTIAL. I challenge you to dig into the book of Habakkuk and ask God to reveal more of Himself to you as you do. A second challenge would be to dig deeper into the Word to learn more about these and other attributes of God. In this brief devotional, I have barely scratched the surface.

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